Right I am experiencing a very depressing time in my life.  Once upon a time I would look to religion to try and make sense of my circumstances.  But know I realize how patronizing and empty those interactions were and I realize I am the one who must overcome these feelings.  I am in the midst of applying for disability via Social Security and the hoops I must jump through seem never ending, with no end in sight.  I have been waiting months to get an appointment with a pain management doctor (more red tape with my health insurance) while fighting with my primary physician to try and control my pain.  My left foor was crushed and have endured to painful surgeries to repair the damage.  And although the surgery has repaired the damage as much as medical science can, I am left with constant extreme pain.  And this is topped off with back problems (have had 3 different surgeries to "correct" the problems to no avail.  As a result I am stuck with inadequate pain control due to several factors.  I have poor insurance health insurance coverage where I have a very limited choice of doctors and only 1 overbooked pain management physician.  My primary care doctor is more afraid of the DEA than he is concerned with adequately managing my pain. I am in a spiral of depression and pain that is sucking me deeper into the depths of despair and I am running of coping mechanisms.  I also suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and COPD.  I am not sure how this will end - I love my life and suicide is NOT an option.  I am simply at the point that I no longer know where to turn or where to seek help.  My family has been very supportive to this point, yet their the patience and understanding are very are running low causing a lot of friction between my wife and I.  And I hate this.  My wife has been my rock through all of thi, but sometimes it is very hard for her to understand what I live with on a daily basis.  Sorry for this long rant but I had to get this off my chest.


Is there anyone in my situation?  I would love to here your story and any way you have come up with to help deal with this situation.  Thanks in advance.




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Comment by Alice on March 30, 2011 at 4:00am

Hi Brad,

I’m glad to hear that you are on an upward track.  I want to clarify that I’m not offering a dietary quick fix – it’s a slow and long slog and only works with your bodies ability to fix itself – it’s about providing the best opportunity for your body to fix itself by providing the elements – minerals, vitamins and beneficial gut flora to assist in this task.  Gut flora is strongly connected to immune function also.


Body needs – fats and oils – some vitamins are only fat soluble – so you need to eat fats to get them – good oils include:


Omega fish oils

Flax oil – if you’re body has the enzymes to break it down.

Evening primrose has some useful oils in it.



Fermented foods – plain live yogurt


Meat and bone broth – contains many useful minerals and also gelatine – which heals and seals the gut lining.  With our modern diet our guts can get damaged and let in toxins from pathogenic gut flora, and also undigested foods – I have a condition called Antiphospholipid antibodies – this is caused by long protein chains – that I haven’t digested yet due to poor enzyme ability, poor gut flora and damaged gut walls from either Candida or gluten (that eats wholes into gut wall) or something else or all of the above.


My condition means that I am 6 times more likely to die from blood clot than anyone else under 50.  I managed to have a full term pregnancy managing the condition with diet – probiotics, 5 g of fish oil per day, fermented foods and bone broth with lots of gelatine.  In most women, they either have miscarriages or they need aspirin and heparin throughout pregnancy and often give birth prematurely.  It’s due to the blood clots to the placenta that starve the baby.

Comment by Alice on March 30, 2011 at 3:33am

Hi John D, Brad,


Just to clarify about the pathogens.  All our guts are colonised by gut flora.  The second 2/3 of the small intestine is part of our immune function.  Our gut flora comes from the birth canal, breastfeeding and our environment when a baby.  It can change according to our diet – if we eat lots of sugars for example we can get Candida growing out of control – Candida is a known pathogen.  Historically when the antibiotics first came about, an anti fungal was also given – because it was well documented that killing bacteria in the gut, both good and bad lead to Candida getting out of control and taking over good bacteria territory.  We have many varieties of bacteria as well as funguses and viruses living in our body.  They populate and perish according to our immune function, stress, diet and so on.  They also play vital roles for our normal functioning, such as we don’t generate histamines for brain function – they are generated by our gut flora, both by good and bad or beneficial and questionable gut flora.  I find this co-dependant existence fascinating.  Good bacteria’s also generate B vitamins and other vitamins that keep us going when our diet isn’t adequate.


Modern use of drugs, the pill, alcohol damage the balance of our gut flora – hence the current interest in probiotics to improve health.  There is also some evidence now about the differences in babies who have been born by C section and those who have been only bottle fed – they develop a different set of gut flora.  Research has yet to be done on the results of this altered gut flora.


Pain killers and such can harm the balance of our beneficial gut flora and negatively effect our immune function and ability to fight the overwhelmed system – especially if we lack enough beneficial bacteria to generate enough vitamins that we might lack in our diet.  For this I recommend a good probiotic and fermented foods such as home made yogurt and home made whey fermented sauerkraut.  I’ve changed my health using this and feel WAY better on this diet.  It’s based on traditional diets.  I don’t see our modern diet doing much for our health – just look at western health records – a shocker.  Highly processed and refined foods, nothing fermented and often nothing raw, along with lots of sugars and carbs, that give us energy, but not dense nutrition – they also feed pathogens and render our own immune system overwhelmed.

Comment by Norma Lee on March 29, 2011 at 6:27pm
I was in your situation but am better now. I went to the unemployment office where they agreed I could not work and actually testified at court for my disability. If you work 4 hrs a day you can't make enough to support yourself. They say do a journal for testifying in court. So you can show history. I was on vicodin for 10 yrs for quality of life. It helped a lot when I had stuff to do.I'm taking gabapentin now and stop vicoden cold turkey and didn't miss it. Sometimes you just have to rest to get better. Exercise does help. Being happy helped me as I was in a bad relationship and hurt a lot. You have to have that soft bed, sometimes its different things for different times. Now I'm sleeping on a firm foam bed. I had to try three times to get my disability. I can't be rightous because I don't have that pain. When you get that disability you will be less depressed. Do every little thing that brings you pleasure.
Comment by Brad Feaker on March 29, 2011 at 11:49am

John D, Alice, and SGA Atheist,


Thanks for the encouragement.  I have already retained an attorney for this process (pro bono) who specializes in SSI.  And I am already on a specialized diet - I am down from 224 lbs. to 183 lbs. since last November.  I am on Cymbalta for the fibromyalgia and it does help some and helps with the depresion.  The overriding issue is the chronic pain and all I can do is wait for the pain management doctor.  I will look into each of your suggestions and see if they benefit me at all.


Alice - I am a skeptic by heart and am suspicious of the 'dietary quick fix'.  I already eat a health balanced diet and have found out the 'built up toxin' thing is pretty much a myth.  See here for a better explanation than I can give.  I do take probiotics when I am on antibiotics to replace what they are killing - I find it eliminates the more unpleasant gastro-intestinal side effects - so there is some truth in probiotics.


Thanks again everyone!  Especially for listening.

Comment by Alice on March 29, 2011 at 1:50am


I really encourage you to investigate GAPS


It’s really worth while investment.  She talks about a basically hunter gatherer diet – which we are way more adapted to as humans.


Chronic fatigue from my reading is about the build up of pathogens in the gut and body – the GAPS diet will balance your gut flora and help your immune function – which will in turn improve your bodies ability to deal with many if not all of the aspects of ill health that you are talking about.


Depression also is an aspect.  Many bio chemical factors are at play, but one example I can give you is that good beneficial bacteria in the gut manufactures B vitamins – without them you’ll get depressed, as well as have other problems in health.  I could literally keep going with all the knowledge and pieces of information I have regarding your story – but I’ve got 3 young children and it’s the end of the day and I must go and feed them….


So I’d like to give you more persuasive evidence about how gaps can improve your life – but I just don’t have time.  GAPS is a big effort – and it will take a long time to improve – but you will gain improvement on it.


All those pathogens will kill you in the end – at the moment they are being encourages my killing good bacteria with essential pain killer medication – take probiotics – the right ones – not sugar filled crap. 


Look for Bio-Kult online or you may find another.  The criteria for a good effective probiotic is in her book.  Google GAPS website.  Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride.


She is a clever lady and her book although not geared to all your conditions – does give really useful explanations about gut immune function, diet and brain activity – pain is an other issue.


Many reasons for pain – some of it could be psychological – others are over sensitive nervous systems due to lack of B6 during your mothers pregnancy…  also over your immune system is over run with pathogens – symptoms chronic fatigue and possibly also fibromyalgia – it’s all about life experience improvement.  I’ve done gaps for 3 years now.  WAY better life…. It’s been hard work though – but I couldn’t go back – it’s changed my life – I now have a life!


Pathogens aren’t good for cancer and heart disease – so you could manage the pain and pathogens with pain killers and alcohol, which would improve your quality of life if you kept it up – but it’s hard on your liver and kidneys and family ….  Also you drop your life expectancy to around 50 or 60’s – with GAPS done well, you could live a good long life, because you’re giving your body the building blocks it needs to repair itself and defend itself against pathogens – supporting immune function etc.


I really hope you follow this up and gain your life back again – it is hard work – but you’ll get so much from it – and it only takes about 3 – 6 months to change your tastes – get off the sugar and white flour and start eating like a savage again like we’re meant to.

Comment by SGA Atheist on March 29, 2011 at 12:47am

Well, I cannot say that I have been in anything closely similar to your situation, but I do just want to encourage you to continue through the SSI application process and if turned down, to consult a lawyer quickly. Unfortunately the SSA has an unofficial policy of making SSI applicants go through a living hell, and pretty much try to do whatever they can to make it almost impossible to obtain SSI on the first try. Perhaps this is justified because of all the of the fraud and so forth, or perhaps it's not, but it is reality. The key is to stick with it, and not give up. Giving up is what they hope many people will do. Good news is that once you get it, you are pretty much set.


As for feeling depressed, are you receiving any treatment for this? Depression can be just as debilitating and lethal as your other health problems and should be addressed. You mentioned your wife as a strong coping resource. What other resources do you have? Do you stay socially active? I would encourage you to do things you enjoy, and spend time with people you love as much as possible. And make sure to talk to your physician about your depression symptoms. It is also not unusual for you to be having these symptoms since you have the severe pain. And I'm sure your current lack of income does not help the matter either!


Once you looked to religion for help in these situations. While that may no longer work given your disbelief, you can still seek support and guidance from your community. The more you stay socially involved and connected, and the more you address these symptoms with a doctor, the more you are likely to pull through and be able to cope.



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